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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Levitations: Is a hoop necessary? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lou Hilario
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I am just pondering why most levitations are performed with a hoop passing thru the floating lady. Obviously I know it is to prove that nothing is supporting the girl.
Is this always necessary and a standard operating procedure?
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M-Illusion
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No, it is absolutely not necessary. While most will agree that it makes a nice touch and helps to drive the point further home, there are a good number of performers who have not, and continue to not, use one. Alternatively, some performers have made "hoops" out of cloth (from part of the costume, etc) and other methods of passing an object above, below, to all sides, etc, to prove there is nothing connected.
Blair Marshall
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Do a search on this one...hoops.....levitation. Not sure what the original topic was, but there was a loooong discussion on this before.

Blair Marshall
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Well…are you a “Trickster” or a “Conjurer”?

It seems we magicians love to *prove* things to our audiences,
and those proofs often kill the wonder and enchantment for the audience.

What is more poetic and delicately beautiful than an elegant lady,
defying graving and floating above the stage floor?

Yet, at the moment when our spectators are enchanted,
but feel compelled to pull out a shiny hood and *prove* something.

I truly believe, the MOMENT a hoop is brought on stage,
the Magical is KILLED and replaced by a PUZZLE.

It becomes a “how” is she up there, or
“if not wires, then what”
and your spectators are back in an analytic mode.

If it is a truly well thought-out and executed levitation,
the audience is so enveloped in the wonder of the moment,
they care about the beauty and mystery, not the method.

IF you were really a Magician, or
for instance if Merlin himself were performing,
would he need to prove anything?
Would he dare even let his audience think him less than Magical?

No, he would say
%)(#*@%$ You!
I’m Merlin. It’s Magic.
And that would be that.

A hoop has become a crutch rather than a tool,
“Look she must be up there I have a hoop” is the unspoken monologue,
rather than “we are here to astound and move you”.

I know many will disagree,
I’ve had chairs hurled at me during workshops when I bring this up.
And not only for illusions,
Whenever possible do not have your audience *examine* any prop,
if you assume it is real they will as well.

It comes down to, are you presenting a puzzle to be solved?
Or a mystery to be appreciated?

Magically,
Walt
Lou Hilario
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Many thanks for your replies M-Illusion, Blair and Walt.

Walt, your reply has convinced me enough not to use a hoop. I agree that this illusion should be a mystery rather than a mere puzzle to the audience. Indeed, it is the moment of enchantment that I want to accomplish. Thanks!

I am using a volunteer rather than my assistant. It is more convincing to the audience. I do wrap her and only her head and feet are exposed.
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mrunge
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Yep...hoops are NOT required and are only used to "sell" the effect to the audience, like Walt mentioned, in order to prove something to the spectators.

Mark.
ptbeast
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Hear hear Walt!

Dave
reynold
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Hello,

In my opinion if you do a levitation and will not pass a hoop, you might as well don't to anything. The hoop is one of the most important things in the levitation.

Is like doing a floating ball and not making the ball go thru the hoop made with your arms. No matter how pretty it looks the will say, "threads". Same case with the levitation, if you don't pass the hoop they will reach to any stupid conclusion, like......... a forklift.

Thanks,
Reynold
Blair Marshall
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I think within an illusion's presentation there should be a series of "proofs" which dispell any ideas for certain methodologies.

As an example, there is a levitation presentation around wherein the girl floats through the magician's arms. A beautiful, well choreographed moment, which dispells certain spectator's ideas on how the effect is accomplished.

A friend of mine asked for help in routining his Crystal Casket, he was turning it around to show it "empty" and all the sides, WHY??, I suggested he just walk around the illusion. It is not even necessary to "stare" at the audience through the sides, as I see so many performers do. The audience already sees you throuugh the side. Another unspoken "proof".

There are some folks who go to a magic show to be "enchanted", there are others who go to a show to figure out "how it's done". I believe it is the performer's job to ensure that ALL his audience is amazed, not just those who are willing to suspend their belief and be "enchanted".

Blair Marshall
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Dennis Michael
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I think these are examples of what Walt is discribing.

In Lance Brton's second levitation, Palm trees are waved like he was a King to dispell any notion of wires, but done very subtlely.

In John Kaplan's "Beach Scene" with a Super X holding a surf board, the trees initially hide the gimmick and when John stands behind it on the beach mound (Hiding the base), the palm trees once again are moved around dispelling the use of wires.

The hoop is a convincer for strickly a magic illusion, not a mini-act, Such a hope would not be something a surfer would do.

Thank you Walt, I truly find your post not oonly thought provking, but extremely educational. It keeps bring me back to theater presentation of a mini-play. (There is a name for a "mini-play", and it eludes me.)
Dennis Michael
Lou Hilario
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Simply passing the hands over and below the floating lady is enough to convince the audience there is nothing supporting her. As Tommy Wonder said, once the object is floating, there is nothing more you can really do as the effect is already accomplished. It is up to you to make the effect enchanting.
Thanks for all your replies!
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